Trustees accept bid for Brandywine Shores project

NILES TOWNSHIP — Brandywine Shores resident Sharron Harris dutifully attends every Niles Township meeting with the hope that trustees will advance plans to fix the roads in her subdivision.

After much patience, and about two years of work between the Berrien County Road Department, the township and residents of Brandywine Shores, Harris got her wish Monday night when the township trustees unanimously voted to accept a bidder for the project. With a bidder in place, the project is set to be completed before Oct. 1.

Trustees awarded the bid to South Bend-based Reith-Riley Construction for the amount of $693,464.10. Reith-Riley was the lowest of three bidders. The township also received bids from Walsh & Kelly for $727,963 and from Michigan Paving for $801,941.

The township has agreed to pay for half the cost of the project. The rest of the cost will be levied out to residents in Brandywine Shores through a multi-year special assessment district.

Terry Eull

Trustee Terry Eull reminded trustees and those in the audience Monday that the cost of the project will also include some legal fees and other items that will have to be added to the total.

“The bottom line is it will be a 50/50 split between residents and the township,” Eull said

After garnering feedback from residents last year, township trustees selected a plan to repave Brandywine Shores’ roads with a 2.5 -inch layer of asphalt.

The sections of repaved road will include about 3.45 miles of parts of M-51/S. 11th Street, Oakdale Avenue, North Street and Tom-O-Shanter Lane.

Additional features to the project will include the installation of leaching basins to mitigate drainage issues.

Harris said she was glad to leave the meeting Monday night knowing the project was advancing.

“It had to be done this year, just drive down South Street and you will see [why],” Harris said.

Also Monday:

Township trustees voted on several other road improvement projects:

  • Voted unanimously to approve the addition of 3 inches of gravel to .45 miles of Wyant Road from Fairland and Stafford. The Berrien County Road Department will cover an $1,500 of the cost. The township will cover the $8,500 of the cost.

• Voted unanimously to approve the addition 3 inches of gravel to roadbed and grade for about 2.43 miles of Creek Road from Pucker to the county line. The Berrien County Road Department will cover $7,700 and the township will cover $45,600 of the cost.

• Trustee Chris Vella asked trustees to look at renewing the township’s policy manuals and job descriptions. Vella said it has been approximately 15 years since these items were last renewed. Action on the item was tabled, so trustees can find out more information for what would be needed to accomplish this task.

• Trustees voted unanimously to approve Kerry Low’s bid for $1,300 bid to clean up Fulkerson Park. A date for the park clean-up has not been decided.

• Trustees voted 6-1 to appoint Darlene Clevenger to the Planning Commission. Trustee Dan Pulaski voted ‘no’ on the issue because he said he does not know Clevenger well enough to make a decision. Trustees said in the future, they will consider providing the candidates background information before voting takes place.

• Trustees voted unanimously to make a vacant property on Holmes Drive available for purchase.

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